Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Post

If you did not notice already, there has not been much action here for quite some time.
I have moved my blogging to http://artletterpress.wordpress.com - there are a number of reasons for this. And I have regretted it several times over, but there it is...

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Resolve

Talking over the paint disaster with everyone I come in contact with who even might have the faintest interest or knowledge in the subject, I have come to this: I will rent a high pressure/hot water washer and use a hand sprayer with gasoline and caustic soda to soften the paint. That's it so far. I have no idea what or even if I'm going to paint the press.
But here some pictures of the last improvement:

The lock roller rotating on the fixed stud, following the shape in the small head lock cam was quite worn. More than twenty thousands out of round it was likely forgetful lubrication that was to blame since the roller is a bit hidden under the delivery board. The local machine shop did a nice job of cleaning up the stud on the lathe and pressing in a bronze sleeve into the roller. I ended up drilling the lube hole myself as the machinist forgot about it. The roller and lock action is very precise now.
You can see the surfaces with dissolved paint after the gasoline cleanup. One of the mechanics I spoke to suggested a vegetable based spray which leaves a film of wax that will prevent rusting. I'm looking to get a can of that to try out.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Paint Disaster

I did a bunch of looking at the paint options before committing to the Tremclad paint, but it is obvious to me now: I did not do enough! The paint is trouble, I can't believe people have used it to paint cars? Last weekend I was moving over to the front of the press. I had stripped off the main gear cover and the throw-off lever and linkage, and painted those black. Now I changed to the dark blue again for the frame and just above the main shaft in front.
There was some old greasy dirt there and I dipped a rag in gasoline to clean the crevices and general area. Vigorously rubbing and pulling the rag through some tight spots, gasoline dripped down over some of the previously painted area. I could not believe my eyes, the paint (more than a month old) wrinkled and bubbled and could be just wiped off! What a mess, now what? I am sure glad I did not paint the press for looks! Having to be that careful not to get any solvent on the frame, when cleaning up the press after every job, is just not going to happen.
I'm having to get used to the idea to remove the paint and start over...

Here is a picture I just found from the day  after I got the press home. Good the neighbor had a strong tree there to anchor the come-along.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reinstalling the Pinion Gib Key

After quite some time now, and a wrong size key purchase, I went to work yesterday to fit the new gibkey. First was the requirement to shorten the key by 3/8" as I did not want it sticking out too far from the pinion, when in position.
Next came filing the bottom side down so that the leading height was just under 5/16" so that the key would fit into the opening. Once I had the right entry height, I discovered the key needed to be filed a little thinner too, so that it would fit into the keyway. During that exercise I discovered that the keyway in the shaft was marked up quite a bit from someone bashing on the previously installed key. So there was some filing and cleaning up of the keyway grove on the shaft in order.

Here is the completed key:

I reduced the taper in the key thickness to less than 1/32" of an inch so that there would be good holding power and more of a spread of the torsional forces along the width of the pinion/shaft keying.

Before removing the old key I tied up the press with my 5 lbs sledge between platen and bed, and marked the gear engagement so that I would not loose mechanical timing when the key was out.
Here you can see how the pinion keyway was distorted by forces on the old key, which was only partially inserted (about 3/4" into the keyway only).

And here it is driven in quite solid, in all it's properly aligned glory:

I'm sure glad I went through this trouble, as the pinion would have come loose, likely at some inopportune time. As well, the gear teeth were just starting to mark up, with the pinion pushed too far over, and with the smaller meshing there was obviously higher load (and wear on the teeth) taking place.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


It's been more than a month since my last post. Not that I have been lazy about this, but the money making work comes first, and so the work increments on the press have been smaller and with several week interruptions. Then there was the gib-key fiasco for the pinion gear that I ordered wrong, and had to re-order. Then there was the straight edge that I ordered - and that somewhere during shipment punched a hole through the packaging and escaped into the wild (likely in the back of a UPS truck). That too had to be re-ordered, but now I got it and can finally get to work checking the press bed for straightness.
The last week has been like Christmas. I got packages from the seller of the press, with the feed table (with the cast bracket) and the all important chase. Then I received the mini-furniture cabinet that I bought via briarpress from a printer in Florida, with a bunch of metal furniture (still waiting on the wood furniture). Ah, and I got an impression counter, not really needed, but why not.
And then there was a two week holiday in the sun and several weeks away up north.
A new resolution to throw out more stuff from the garage, so that I can fit the new stuff in place and make more room for working the press.

A list of what is required to complete the reworking of the press and make it ready to print:
  • Finish cleaning and painting
  • Polish / straighten press bed
  • Check & correct siderail elevation to press bed
  • Check & correct/adjust platen to pressbed distance
  • Define motor size and purchase
  • Buy and install VFD
  • Buy ink rollers & trucks
  • Buy first zinc plate with backing
  • Buy tympan & pressboard
  • Buy cotton paper
  • Buy ink

Well that's it for now - pictures to come...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shaft Treatment

Yes it has been unbearably cold! So I got done litte with working on the cold cast iron. But there are some new pictures of what I have been concentrating on lately: Polishing shafts. Here are the throw off linkage shafts.

And here is the flywheel shaft after the sequenced emery cloth treatment.

And the back shaft with the side arm still to be done.

And this is what the rear of the press looks like right now. On some of the parts I noticed the old ink remaining here and there seeping through the paint. So I will have to go for another coat.

And this has me considering changing the banner picture for my blog!

Oh and I was able to pull out the key holding in the pinion for the main gear that I talked about in the last posting. Seems every time I even think about leaving something and then get at it I discover more. This time it was that the key was not the right width, but was too high and had been filed to a taper - and then was driven in only one third of the way! Good thing I got it out, now I have a new propper size gib key on order.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gear Misalignment?

Is this a problem I'm asking anyone who has an opinion - don't hold back.

The main gear and the drive pinion are out of alignment by about 1/4 inch (on the left side). By the corrosion on the main shaft it looks like the pinion did at one time sit about 1/4 inch to the left, which would bring all of the gear-teeth surfaces into full contact. Is that something I should correct? Looks to me like the pinion is shrunk onto the shaft as I don't see any pin or screw holding it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Main Gear Camwheel Cleanup

I just about overdosed on gasoline vapours. Right now it is -22 degrees F out there, and it is fairly cool in the garage. I removed the right side arm and the large gear cover, and proceded to clean off the grease and junk off the main gear and it's pinion.

That took a lot of gasoline and a lot of rubbing with a terry-cloth rag. But the gear and the pinion are nice and clean now. And then I looked over every tooth, and aside for a little piece of metal that was embedded in the root between a couple of the large gear teeth, everything looks good. The pinion is not aligned very well with the main gear (it's out be about 1/4 inch), and I am wondering if the pinion is deliberately moved towards the press frame to keep the shaft positioned in place. But there is hardly any wear on the gears.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Grippers and Gripper Bar

Last night I thought I'd attack the gripper bars and the rail they mount on to. Turns out the bars are kind of bent and not even. One has definite signs of type embedding into it. And there are a lot of hammer marks from bashing the bottom of the grippers when they were being adjusted.

So I filed the edges for a better appearance. I noticed all the gripper pieces were originally painted black. Because the grippers will have to be moved back and forth for various size work, I don't think the regular paint is a good idea. So I am either going to try a thinner epoxy finish or maybe leave them unpainted. Here the gripper bars are at the first stage of cleaning with a die grinder attack. Next I have to rig up some anvil surface to hammer them straight, and then do the final polish.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Back Shaft Polishing

After most of the week away I decided to spend some time on the back shaft (the one connecting the press bed and the roller frame, and onto which the side arms connect). Now that the items around it have been painted it really looks bad.

The shaft rotates only within the limits of the throw-off linkage, so it's mainly stationary, and dirt and stuff built up over the years allowing some serious corrosion to happen on the upper surface of that shaft. Scotch-Brite, air tool and emery cloth were applied vigorously and I worked up a sweat. Tomorrow after some final polish I will apply some clear coat to the shaft. I decided to try out this product I found, to highlight a few of the machined areas of the press. As mentioned before, I am not going to apply pinstriping and a work of art paint-job. But the machine does not have to look boring either. I am aiming for a "serious machine" look.